Maloney Emphasizes Need to Crack Down on Anonymous Shell Companies and Ensure an Equitable COVID Recovery at House Hearing with Sec. Yellen

Mar 23, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — At today’s House Financial Services Committee hearing entitled “Oversight of the Treasury Department’s and Federal Reserve’s Pandemic Response,” Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), senior member of the committee, questioned Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about what steps the Treasury Department is taking to implement the provisions of her Corporate Transparency Act, and about the impacts COVID will have on the American labor force going forward, post-pandemic.


During her exchange with Secretary Yellen, Congresswoman Maloney stated, “At the end of last year, we were able to reach a bipartisan compromise on my Corporate Transparency Act, which will crack down on anonymous shell companies – the vehicle of choice for criminal activity, money laundering, and terrorism financing...The bill requires companies to disclose their true, beneficial owners to FinCEN, which is an arm of Treasury. And FinCEN will collect this information in a database, which is intended to be state-of-the-art with privacy and security protections. Law enforcement calls it the most important tool that has been given to them to track illegal money activity in 30 years. And implementation of this  [law] will be a massive undertaking, and will require an enormous amount of resources and manpower at Treasury.”


In response to the Congresswoman asking if she would make implementation of the new law a priority, Secretary Yellen stated, “It’s a very important piece of legislation, and it is one of our highest priorities to implement this promptly and to get it right. We have a hiring plan, we recognize that significant resources will be required, and we’re trying to obtain them. We have plans for how to collect the required database, and we’re actively working to implement this very important piece of legislation.”


Congresswoman Maloney continued by highlighting the economic impact of COVID-19 on the American labor force, stating, “We know that over  11.5 million women lost their jobs, compared to 9 million men [from February to May 2020], Black and Latino women suffered the highest rate of all and that the women’s labor force participation [rate] is down 2%. And the families are suffering.”


Congresswoman Maloney then asked Secretary Yellen, “What can we do to help them get back into the labor force?”


Secretary Yellen responded, “In the short term, the American Rescue Plan contains substantial support for minorities and particularly for women who’ve been forced to drop out of the labor market. There’s an important increase in the Child Tax Credit that’s going to result in, along with other provisions, a 50% reduction in the child poverty rate. There’s money to open and support school openings promptly, there’s an enhanced Child and Dependent Care Credit, with a successful vaccination program to get women back into the labor force. And longer term, when we’ve gotten to the other side of this pandemic, we hope to address in the jobs package, over the longer term, some of the factors that have resulted in low wages and low labor force participation for women.”


You can watch the full exchange below.


Congresswoman Maloney first introduced legislation to crack down on anonymous shell companies, which have long been the vehicle of choice for money launderers, terrorists, and criminals, in 2009. Originally named the Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act, a version of the bill has been introduced in every subsequent Congress by Congresswoman Maloney. The Congresswoman introduced H.R. 2513, the Corporate Transparency Act of 2019, on May 3, 2019. It was passed by the House of Representatives with a bipartisan vote of 249-173 on October 22, 2019. A version of the bill was included in the FY21 NDAA, which became law on January 1, 2021.